China scorns US criticism of religious policies

August 2, 2012 08:57

BEIJING - China has blasted a US State Department report that criticized its controls on religion, saying on Thursday that the document was prejudiced and an attempt to meddle in domestic affairs.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry's condemnation of the International Religious Freedom Report released this week was predictable -- and the latest reminder of how human rights issues remain a chronic irritant between Washington and Beijing.The annual report issued on Monday found a "marked deterioration" in state respect for religious freedom in China in 2011, and cited tighter restrictions on religion, especially in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei adamantly disagreed.

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